JP Morgan Report: Lockdowns Could Potentially Cause ‘More Deaths Than COVID-19 Itself’

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Investment bank JP Morgan claims to have found that coronavirus infection rates have decreased in states where lockdowns have been lifted, and that continued lockdowns might cause “more deaths than COVID-19 itself.”

Although the lockdowns may have been initially justified due to “the absence of conclusive data,” they say that the current data is in favor of reopening. “Full lockdown policies in some European countries did not produce any change in pandemic parameters,” they argue, and “virtually everywhere, infection rates have declined after reopening, even after allowing for an appropriate measurement lag.”

The lockdowns were continued even “while our knowledge of the virus and lack of effectiveness of total lockdowns evolved.” (RELATED: REPORT: JP Morgan Finds Infection Rates Are Decreasing In States That Ended Lockdowns)

JP Morgan said that while “millions of livelihoods were being destroyed by these lockdowns,” they were “administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself.”

The paper argues that despite recent data that shows infection rates declining in places that have lifted lockdowns, “politics emerged as a new and significant risk,” with partisan divides and political implications that influenced the government’s response. 

“Despite the conditions for re-opening being mostly met across the US, it is not yet happening in the largest economic regions,” they argue. “Worrying populism related to the virus is putting at risk global cooperation and trade.”

In the United States, “the response of the current administration to COVID-19 became a focal point of election campaigns,” and “the worse the virus impacts the US, the lower the chances of an incumbent’s re-election.”

As a result, the Trump administration’s response to the negative impact of the virus, like unemployment and economic hardship, was to blame “large blue states that are perceived to be slowing down the reopening of the economy.” The decision of whether or not to continue lockdowns “is now largely following partisan lines.”

Disagreement over the scope of the government’s power has also contributed to the partisan divide. Questions of whether or not “lockdowns be recommended or mandated” and “how much of individual freedoms should be limited” relate to public opinion on the lockdowns, the paper argues. This divide is “to an extent replicated and exported to other countries in the west.”

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